Your everyday mullet, your average punter usually likes his favorites. I’m not sure why this is exactly, because your average sports fan that keeps his money safely in his wallet is usually a sucker for the underdog. I guess with nothing on the line, it’s easier to root for a good story. When you are putting up your hard-earned finskys, though, it’s easier to trust the team that is better on paper. I should probably go back and look at my picks this year and examine my favorite/dog ratio. I think when I took a dog it was usually under, “Who is (fill in awful team) to be giving points to anyone…” That doesn’t really happen in the playoffs and on cue, I took 3 favorites last week. As it turned out, three favorites covered–just not my three. For the 2nd round the lines have gotten prohibitive in some cases and the favorites aren’t as easy to trust. Is it time to see if the proverbial dogs will hunt?
Big Dub: Last Week, 3-1.
San Francisco (+4) over New Orleans. Drew Brees lit up the Lions, but also should have had three picks. Never take a dome team outdoors. Exhibit “A” was the Falcons.
Baltimore (-7.5) over Houston. I wish I could bet the Ravens -17 for plus money.
New York Giants (+9) over Green Bay. The Giants might hang around and win this damn thing.
New England (-13.5) over Denver. Didn’t the Pats roll Timmy Tebow a couple of weeks back in Denver? I hate people who think the Patriots blow out Denver because Belichick and Brady won’t let anything else happen. Did they let Eli ruin their perfect season? Did they let Flacco beat them? Did they let Sanchez beat them? The logic is simple: The Pats are at least 14 points better than the Broncos.
Grossy: Last Week, 2-2.
Baltimore (-7.5) over Houston. This might be the only game I really feel comfortable picking. Take that however you’d like. If you want to go drop an avalanche of cash on the Texans money line, I wouldn’t blame you. I’m not going to compare Houston to the Seahawks last year, because that is a little insulting, but the point is, every team eventually reaches its limit. This is Houston’s. They are a fluke play and momentum shift away from being home right now. When betting the Ravens you say, Does Flacco have to be good to cover this number? No. Take the Ravens. Baltimore is good at home, they’re rested, and for Houston it’s time for Matt Leinart’s favorite part of the year–the off-season.
New York Giants (+9) over Green Bay. Come feed at the teet of that jinx, Giants fans. But, as fun as it is to play with the fragile emotions of Giants fans… “We’re not going to win, we stink. I don’t know why everyone thinks we have a shot. The Packers? We’re getting blown out. (secretly expecting a win/already planning trash talk)”…I don’t think the Packers cover here because there won’t be any real need for them to do so. I like Green Bay to win, but I don’t think their defense is good enough to blow New York out, and I could see this game going on the see-saw that Det/NO was on last week with the opposite result. Down 10 or 13 Eli punches one in with 83 seconds left, failed onside kick and….scene.
New Orleans (-4) over San Francisco. I’m weighing two great forces here. On one side we’ve got the Niners who I want to lose and have been expecting to lose this game for months. Add that to the Saints obscene hot-streak. They’re scoring points in quantities the 49ers could only dream of. On the other side you have New Orleans’ abysmal track record on the road. You have the quirks and oddities of Candlestick Park and San Fran’s ferocious defense. I feel like San Francisco is the trendy play here, and when the Saints start piling up points everyone is going to say, “Gosh, I’m powerful dumb.” I’m not going to bet against Breesus right now until I get proven wrong. Charles Haley and his 3rd leg aren’t walking through that door. Saints in a laugher.
Denver (+13.5) over New England. To get the specifics out of the way, I don’t think Denver can win this game. But, there’s been a lot of nervous time in New England lately. Bad starts to be exact, and for some reason I think the Pats might scuffle out of the gate one more time. They’ll recover, but I’m not sure they’re going to have time to beat the Broncos by 2 touchdowns. Plus, Denver is looking more confident in the passing game. It’s hard to believe, but it’s true. As we saw last week all it takes is a couple fortuitous Tebow punts and a double-digit spread becomes almost insurmountable. Tebowmania ends, but not before he gives everyone reason to be plenty bullish on 2012.
- San Francisco (+4) over New Orleans
- New England (-13.5) over “4th and God”
- Baltimore (-7.5) over Houston. If Flacco doesn’t win this home playoff game against a 3rd-stringer, folks in the Inner Harbor are going to be calling for the Ravens to overpay Matt Flynn.
- Green Bay (-9) over New York Giants. I think people forget that Green Bay was 15-1. Aaron Rodgers re-wrote the way to play QB. Yes, they beat NY by 3 in NJ, and the Giants are playing well, but the Giants are inconsistent. Vegas making this 9 points has to mean something.
I’m not sure what the most exciting part of Fridays is anymore. Is it picking games, or ticking off another week in the countdown to pitchers and catchers? We’re only 5 weeks out now. That’ll happen in a blink. Time flies, and another week zips by here. Good job everyone. Enjoy the football and bundle up, looks like winter has finally arrived. See everyone Monday unless the Phillies sign Prince Fielder.